Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Teaching Bridge to Tech Savvy People

The technology company that I now work at has occasional "game nights", and at the most recent one, I taught a few of my colleagues how to play bridge. Because it is a tech-savvy audience, I decided that I would teach them to play online, and forgo a detailed explanation of the rules.

Naturally, I put together a slide deck (here), and the size of the slide deck was the subject of some ribbing. What kind of game needs a 60-page slide deck?  (In my defense: the 60-slide deck was for three sessions; we just did session 1 or 20 slides on the first day.) People took photographs of me going through the slide deck to send out on internal chat.

We bridge players feel BBO is the best thing since sliced bread, but that is because we value it for what we can do on the site.  Yesterday, I saw Meckwell play and last week, I played with a college classmate who lives in India.  So it was funny to see my colleagues' reactions to the site.

The first comments came regarding the password. "I can't use the password that my password generator creates. Why on earth won't it accept special characters?" Then, once they were on, "man, this site must have been designed 10 years ago." "Do they really still use Flash?"  "Someone wrote this 10 years ago and they're making hand over fist now."

The lessons themselves went well, and they were up and playing bridge in about 20 minutes.

They played approximately 15 boards, and no one made a single contract.  The winning pair was jubilant nevertheless.

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